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Date: 24 November 2017

  Zimbabwean - Soccer

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Warriors SA camp- ZIFA leading at last!

[Posted 02 Oct 2012]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu]
Warriors SA camp- ZIFA leading at last!
News that a training camp to be held in South Africa has been organised by the Zimbabwe Football Association is as refreshing as it is encouraging.

ZIFA has of late been working quietly to spruce up its image long battered by new of poor management of issues of bungling players' travel from their foreign bases to Harare, poor or non-remuneration of players after international assignments and many others ills.

Now, news is being dominated by stories of ZIFA having organised a Mzantsi90, a fundraising  initiative headed by corporates such as Mbada Holdings, recognized as one of the main players in football sponsorship in Zimbabwe at the moment.

The initiative's main stated goal is to gather funds and ensure the smooth preparation of the national soccer team ahead of its crunchy return leg in the final game of AFCON 2013 qualifiers. That fund has, in just one week, reportedly gathered in excess of US$200 000 of the targeted US$500 000.

It is possibly news of the success of the fund-raising initiative that Zifa acceded to Rahman Gumbo request for a training camp in South Africa.

A camp in South Africa's Johannesburg is ideal for many reasons. Firstly, seven of the players called up are based in South Africa. If Gumbo and Zifa's dream to have some players cleared by the Ethics Committee investigation the Asiagate scandal becomes a reality and it happens on time, then the number of SA-based players could increase.

For example, some players who are sure to be called up if cleared include AmaTuks keeper Washington Arubi as the Warriors need a safe pair of hands in the absence of injured captain Tapuwa Kapini.

Arubi's team mate Lionel Mtizwa is one type of a midfielder that the Warriors lack at the moment. He can create opportunities and is also useful when defending.

Then upfront, the talents and form of Kaizer Chiefs gunman Kingston Nkhatha and in-form Maritzburg United striker Cuthbert Malajila are crying out for recognition. Nkhatha's team mate Zhainu Jambo has been doing very well at left back and deserves to be called up.

There may however not be any places for players like Thomas Sweswe, Lincoln Zvasiya, Terrence Mandaza, Gilbert Mapemba, Method Mwanjali, Nyasha Mushekwi and others even if they get cleared, given their current form and/or lack of game time.

Another good reason why  a SA camp is ideal is that it is reduces costs of travel between South Africa and Harare, and then the Harare to Angola leg, which has to be via Johannesburg. With all players including Europe-based flying into Johannesburg, there will be huge savings made.

After the camp, the players will fly directly to Luanda, from where they will return to their bases.

An added advantage is that the players will get more time to train together in South Africa.

The plans are that the players join camp in South Africa on Monday 8th October. Assuming that training begins on Monday, the Warriors will have four days to train together, before flying out to Luanda on Friday mid-morning.

If the ideal happens, then the Warriors will for the first time in a long time, have an opportunity to train together for a long period. Who knows, the team might get an opportunity to play a friendly match against  a South African ABSA premiership side one of these days.

Zifa has to be applauded for a good plan. The nation will be happier if this plan is realised.



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